One of the memorable picnics that we had was trip to Ajanta Ellora. It brings back so many nostalgic memories.
It was fourth year, we were partly relaxed as they were no university exams.

George got elected as the class representative. He was keen to organize a picnic at the earliest.
We all decided to have an outing of the classmates for at least for couple of days as picnic.
After considering various options, we decided to go to Ajanta and Ellora.

We discussed about the picnic with the other classmates whom we missed in the university examination.
Initially they were enthusiastic to join but later on backed out.

George and myself approached Dr. Gopal Rao who was our Pathology professor and student advisor, for permission, who readily agreed. We requested Suguna madam our associate professor of pathology to accompany us, which she readily agreed.

George was a perfectionist. He wanted everything to go according to plan and wanted everything to be perfect.
As ours was a trip by train, he wanted to have the best of the bogies for our journey.

Rama Sundereshan’s father was a senior executive in railways. We wanted to take help from him.
One evening myself, George and Eashwer went to Rama’s house at railway quarters.

We were all nervous as we had not visited any of our class girl’s houses earlier. Rama welcomed us with her pleasant smile. Her sister was practicing classical music in the neighbouring hall.

Mr.Sundereshan walked in and wished us. He was a fair and tall gentleman and courteous to the core. He asked us to come to Rail Nilayam next day and assured us to provide best of the bogies for the trip. We thanked him and Rama and left the place.

It was disappointed in knowing that Rama was not going to join us for picnic.
Next day we went to Rail Nilayam and got all the necessary arrangements done for the trip. We were all really excited.

That afternoon I was there with George.
He was still restless. When I enquired, he told me” Arre Chary, everything is arranged nicely here but I don’t know about the status at Aurangabad. That is the reason I am worried”.

As I knew his nature, I suggested that I would go to Aurangabad and supervise and come back.
He felt relieved. I rang my house and went to the station, purchased a ticket to Aurangabad and boarded the train.
It was my first visit to Aurangabad. I really was not aware what was waiting for me!

I reached Aurangabad in the morning and proceeded to the tourist office which was close to the station. I talked with the concerned and explained about our trip.
He assured me of all the help and fixed a cottage for us. He made arrangements for our lunch and dinner and made arrangements for our transport to Ellora and Ajanta.

Having finished the work, I reached the station in the evening and boarded the train back home. Those were the days of “no cell phones or internet”!

I went to George’s house, informed him about the arrangements. He was a relaxed man after the meeting!

Just a day before the journey, Ravinder Reddy fell sick. George and I were disappointed in missing him for the picnic.

On the “D day”, all those who were coming assembled at Kachiguda station. caves1Our special bogie, which Mr. Sundereshan arranged, was just in front of us. One segment was occupied by girls and the other was for the boys. Dr.Suguna was given special attention and she was with the girls.

The train left the platform amidst claps and sounds from the classmates. Journey was pleasant. Some were sharing jokes, some were into discussions.
At dinner time everybody were sharing the food they brought. Hardly anybody slept on that night.
Dr. Suguna was with the girls and she was at ease in their company.

We reached Aurangabad in the morning.
The guest house was close to the station.
We were given one quarter into which everyone got adjusted.
After breakfast we proceeded to Ellora by bus which was arranged.
The Kailash temple was the main attraction. It got opened at 9am.

Kailash Temple at Ellora Caves Aurangabad, India Kailash Temple, also Kailasa Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra, India. Of these 34 monasteries and temples, the Kailasa (cave 16) is a remarkable example of Indian rock-cut architecture on account of its striking proportion; elaborate workmanship architectural content and sculptural ornamentation.. It is designed to recall Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva[2]. While it exhibits typical Dravidian features, it was carved out of one single rock. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I. The Kailash Temple is notable for its vertical excavation-carvers started at the top of the original rock, and excavated downward, exhuming the temple out of the existing rock. The traditional methods were rigidly followed by the master architect which could not have been achieved by excavating from the front. The architects found to design this temple were from the southern Pallava kingdom.

The whole temple and its architecture was awesome.
They have sculpted a big rock from above downwards as a temple.
Everybody was busy taking pictures and storing their memories.
There were thirty odd caves with depiction of Buddha, Hindu and Jain carvings.
We were all going in groups and enjoying the marvellous caves.
Afterwards everyone felt tired and hungry and assembled for lunch.

For the disappointment of many, the food served by the local contractor was not good and sufficient and myself and George felt disappointed. He promised us to give good dinner at the guest house.
We all reached the guest house by evening and relaxed for a while and got freshened up and joined for dinner which was also not to the taste of many. We wanted to change the contractor and plan it.

After the dinner we all assembled in front of the quarter and wanted to play Queen of Sheeba. Dr.Suguna became the queen. We were divided into groups. Our job was to fetch whatever the queen asks.
The game started and Dr.Suguna asked for chocolates. Every one started running to get some chocolates.
I was running along with Balaji to fetch the chocolates. He was in the other group. He innocently asked me weather Cadbury would do. I said “not Cadbury” but regular chocolate and fooled him
As we were running on the road, police who were guarding Ganesh puja mandapams, caught hold of me and questioned why I was running. It took some time to convince him that I was a medical student and we were playing a game. On return we handed over the chocolate to Dr.Suguna.

Somebody commented that she was only troubling boys and partial to the girls.
She heard it and said she wanted a bra!! The girls initially appeared to be shocked but Asma was quick to recover and ran to the room and fetched the one asked for. Everybody appreciated her boldness.
We were playing the game till midnight and retired to our room to take rest.

Next day after breakfast, we boarded the bus and proceeded to Ajanta, which was about 150km from Aurangabad.
We reached Ajanta at about 12 am and proceeded to appreciate the world famous Ajanta paintings.

There was a small riverulet was flowing at the bottom of that caves with small stones with crystals on them.caves4
Many took photos and collected those stones.
After lunch proceeded to a place called “Biwi ka Makbara”, a replica of Taj Mahal but made up of lime stone. It was the resting place of Aurangazeb’s wife.caves5
From there we went to a place called Panchakki, a place from where they used to pump water.

caves6 cave11

On the way back we went up to Chand Minar, over Daulatabad forte.

Thus ended our trip to Ajanta.
Next day again everybody boarded the train for return journey.
Myself, Vijay, and others were enjoying some funny “sher shayaries” through night.
Train reached Kachiguda. All left the place with sweet memories.
Myself and George went to his house and thanked and complimented each other for a successful outing.
One close friend who missed all the fun was Ravinder Reddy.

Yadagiri Chari